The IoD’s Information and Advisory Service (IAS) has seen an increase in requests since the EU referendum vote. As the countdown for 2019 begins, here are the different ways the IAS can help you get your business Brexit ready – and save you money at the same time…
One of the biggest benefits of being an IoD member is having access to the IAS, which offers free business advice and research to help you both in the day-to-day running of your business and the strategic planning to stay competitive. If you work out the cost of obtaining the same services externally it would add up to nearly £3,000 a year. This month the IAS introduces a new Brexit helpline which can provide information and guidance to help you as your business prepares for the UK’s EU exit.
“The IAS has always had four services – the Advisory Service, the Business Information Service, the legal helpline and the tax helpline – all of which are extremely useful resources for members seeking guidance or information on business-related matters,” explains head of IAS Sarah Watts. “However, when the referendum result came in, we knew that there would be an increase in calls from members needing advice on Brexit: what it might mean for their business and steps to take to futureproof their firms. The IoD immediately published a feature in Director by Allie Renison, our head of trade and Europe, highlighting areas of focus for business, we created a Brexit hub on iod.com and commissioned a series of factsheets.
“We also realised that, as every business is different and the concerns wide-ranging, we needed to create a central contact point for our members – hence the introduction of the Brexit helpline,” she continues. “Our members can use this helpline to talk confidentially to one of our researchers or advisers. They can also contact us via email.”
Here we explain how the services work and how we can help you…
1 Brexit Helpline
The new Brexit helpline has been set up to help you with all your queries as the UK prepares for Article 50 to be triggered and we get ready to leave the EU. “Queries so far have ranged from the practicalities involved in setting up a Brussels office to the possible impact on the UK food and drink sector, and how to begin trading in Asia,” says Watts. Calls come out of the allocation to the Business Information Service, which allows 25 calls a year. Lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
2 Legal Helpline
This is a phone helpline offering advice on issues relating to employment, and company and commercial law in the UK and Europe. English-speaking experts can offer specialist advice pertaining to over 20 countries. “Obtaining legal advice can be costly, so having access to this helpline and gaining expert advice when you need it, entirely free of charge, can potentially save you hundreds of pounds on legal fees,” explains Watts. And if you’re thinking about setting up in the EU post-Brexit, you can contact an English-speaking solicitor qualified in the relevant jurisdiction. Members are entitled to 25 calls each year, up to a maximum of 20 minutes per call. Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to noon on Saturday, excluding bank holidays.
3 Tax Helpline
This is a phone helpline offering advice on business and personal tax-related issues. Topics covered include pay-as-you-earn tax, VAT, corporation tax, national insurance contributions, inheritance tax, income tax and stamp duty. “Tax matters can be very complex so having access to expert tax advice can be invaluable, and may save you money, time and frustration,” says Watts. Members are entitled to 25 calls per year and lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
4 Business Information Service
The service provides general business information and research to members for free. “Directors often need research to help them run their companies effectively, but most of our members are time-poor, which is where we can help,” says Watts. IoD members are entitled to 25 free enquiries every year and can request information on subjects such as international markets, funding options, company accounts, boardroom salaries, model business contracts, information on directors’ duties and responsibilities, market data, and legislation. “One of our researchers will spend up to 30 minutes finding the information and will respond within 24 hours,” adds Watts. “The service is ideal for business leaders who can’t visit the IoD’s Business Library in person or don’t have the time or resources to find information themselves.” About 97 per cent of Business Information Service users surveyed in 2016 were either delighted or very satisfied with the response they received.
5 Directors’ Advisory Service
Members can obtain free independent advice and guidance on topics including employment, company and commercial law, HR issues, finance, marketing and IT. “This service is fantastic for directors needing guidance on issues relating to their position such as problems with the board or how to handle a dispute,” says Watts. There are 14 advisers on our advisory panel and members can arrange an appointment in person or over the phone. Each session lasts between 30 and 45 minutes and members are entitled to four a year.
To get your business Brexit ready with IAS, visit:
Alternatively, send an email here